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Shirley Berry (Handler) – Prohibited Substance Referral Island Hunt (F) Point to Point 7th April 2019

Shirley Berry (Handler) – Prohibited Substance Referral Island Hunt (F) Point to Point 7th April 2019


The Referrals Committee, Justice Tony Hunt, (in the chair), Mr. Philip Caffrey and Mr. Philip McLernon convened at the Offices of the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board (IHRB), The Curragh, Co Kildare on 18thJune 2019 to consider whether or not Mrs. Shirley Berry, Handler, was in breach of any rules as a result of a report received from LGC Laboratories, Fordham, UK.

The report stated that the blood sample taken from Five Star Getaway following his win in the Goffs Punchestown Sale 5yo Geldings Maiden at the Island Hunt (F) Point to Point at Courtown on 7th April 2019, was found to contain clenbuterol. Under Rule 20 (v) and Regulation R14 of the Rules of Racing and Irish National Hunt Steeplechase Rules clenbuterol is a prohibited substance.

The Handler declined the option to have the B sample analysed.

Evidence was heard from Dr Lynn Hillyer, IHRB Chief Veterinary Officer/Head of Anti-Doping and Mr. John P. Berry, representing the Handler, Mrs. Shirley Berry.

In her evidence, Dr. Hillyer said that following an investigation it appeared most likely that the horse received the medication in error in the days leading up to the race. Dr Hillyer also added that Mr. and Mrs. Berry had cooperated fully with the investigation at all times.

In his evidence, Mr. Berry accepted the presence of a prohibited substance in the sample. He added that a product containing clenbuterol was being administered to a different horse in the care of Mrs. Berry and that some cross contamination must have been responsible for the findings. Mr. Berry accepted that further care would have to be taken in future.

Dr Hillyer added that this case highlighted the need for Trainers, Handlers and their staff to do everything they can to minimise the risks of errors of this type, particularly in the 48 hours ahead of a racing engagement.

Having considered the evidence the Committee were satisfied that Mrs. Berry was in breach of Rule 96(a) in that her horse had a prohibited substance present. They disqualified Five Star Getaway, ordered that the stake be forfeited and amended the result to read as follows:

First: Doubleubee

Second: Cantgetenough


The Committee also imposed a €1,000 fine on Mrs. Berry under Rule 96(a) as reasonable precautions had not been taken by the Handler to ensure a breach did not occur.

The case was presented by Cliodhna Guy, Head of Legal, Licensing & Compliance.

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